For a wedding planner, I think it’s really important to remember that it’s a job but it’s also about two people getting married.
When you first meet them that is the reason you are being included and it should be the thread of romance and love that leads the meeting. So listening to them and following their wishes will be the key to the consultation being a success.
For a wedding planner, the more you truly want to get to know the couple and indulge in their journey to the altar the more connection and trust they will feel with you. It is also helpful to find out more about them and spend a moment with them to reflect on their backstory before deciding to ‘tie the knot’. Communication and mutual understanding of the expectations of the day will be crucial, so the more you know about them the better.
You might encourage conversation about memories from their first date, find out more about their families, discuss favourite holidays and food. All of this is good and should not be rushed through as it will definitely inspire their choices and help you to successfully understand their needs.
Background information gathering is a part of the consultation process and a good wedding planner should encourage their clients to speak freely. This will help you to focus in on the things that are important to them and that they want to share with their guests on the big day. It may also influence the structure of the day, e.g large/small, summer/winter, vintage/modern, family fun, destination wedding.
Really listening to your clients will enable you to achieve a day that reflects both their characters and has their personal touches everywhere. You might also find a common thread that could be a theme for the wedding if they don’t already have their own ideas.
Showing that you are interested, have time to listen and make them feel their day is special should not be underestimated. If they can see you are engaged with their ideas and excited to work on their wedding they will be flattered and more likely to choose you to be their planner. I think in my early meetings I played it very cool and presented a professional persona of wanting to get down to business questions asap. I thought I was showing confidence but actually, I think I came across as not very bothered.
Don’t be afraid to show or tell them that you would love to be part of their wedding team, it is not a weakness, they will like hearing you be honest and candid.
First consultations are one of my favourite parts of the process now and I have learnt to enjoy them and allow my love of weddings to shine through.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zoe McKeown owns a successful wedding planning business, Cherish Weddings, where she works with some high profile clients and shares her experience with students as the lead tutor and course consultant for the UK Academy of Wedding and Event Planning.
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